Thank you for taking the time to check out my website. I’d like to share a little bit about me in terms of my background and how I work so you can get a clearer idea of whether I might be the right therapist for you.
I am a counselor, licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). I have a wide range of experience working with diverse populations and a multitude of issues, and I have supervised many interning therapists both individually and in groups.
The treatments I provide draw from many methodologies and modalities. Many of these I’ve been formally trained in, such as EMDR treatment and counseling for clients coping with PTSD (regardless of whether trauma was suffered in childhood or more recently). Other techniques I incorporate into my work I’ve learned from attending numerous workshops, extensive reading and research, and still others I’ve developed myself.
Some of the approaches I am most highly qualified in and comfortable with include:
- EMDR — Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
- Structural Family Therapy
- Couples Imago Therapy
- The Bader/Pearson Model for Couples Work
- Process Therapy
- Behavioral Therapy
- Psychoeducational Therapy
A Little Background
I have been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1993. I have been providing individual, couples and family therapy and counseling since 1989, when I received my masters degree in counseling psychology. My own techie background — a B.S. degree in engineering from the University of Santa Clara — also influences my therapeutic work.
I approach my work with an analytical mind and am strongly motivated by altruism. I served with the Peace Corps in Africa from 1983 to 1985. From 1989 to 2001, I worked for several non-profit agencies, including the Bill Wilson Center as a supervising family therapist, the Gardner Health Center, and the County of Santa Clara.
I also belong to several professional organizations, and am a clinical member of the local and state chapters of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
As a Bay Area Latino and Spanish-speaking therapist, my cross-cultural experiences have prepared me well to work with people of diverse backgrounds. I am equally at ease working in both Spanish and English and provide multi-cultural counseling to many clients.
A Definition Of Terms
Over the years, I’ve found there is a great deal of confusion on the part of most people as to the various degrees and licenses held by mental health practitioners. In order to help you find an individual, marriage or family counselor who’s right for you, I thought I would define a few of the terms you are likely to come across.
The terms therapist and counselor are generally interchangeable. However, therapist is more often used to refer to clinicians with a “deeper” focus, while counselor is often used to describe people of various backgrounds, including school and academic counselors, guidance counselors, and career counselors.
The following titles represent people who can be licensed to provide psychotherapy for individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents. Each requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) and a master’s degree (MA, MSW or MS):
- LMFT — Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists often focus on relationship counseling, but the work they do ranges from short-term to in-depth therapy for individual adults, couples and families, as well as children, adolescents and teens.
- LCSW — Licensed Clinical Social Workers provide similar work to that of LMFT’s, but LCSW’s tend to place greater focus on individuals and families within their external context.
- Psychologist — Psychologists have a doctorate degree and often focus on psychological testing. A referral to a psychologist may be made if a diagnostic clarification is deemed necessary.
- Psychiatrist — Psychiatrists are medical doctors whose focus is usually on providing medications. The fees for psychiatrists are usually significantly higher than the aforementioned clinicians. If medications are called for, then a referral to a psychiatrist is important.
A licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) requires a master’s or doctorate degree from an accredited university in a therapy-related field. Upon completion of the degree program(s), a counselor must gain 3,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a licensed therapist and pass a licensing exam in order to gain their MFT license. The process usually takes from five to eight years. Each of the other licenses has their own criteria.
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